NWSL East Week 12 Preview

After a week off, NWSL east teams are back in action this weekend.

By Kathryn Field

Many players have returned this week from international duty to help their respective teams make a push to climb the standings into a playoff spot. North Carolina will look to climb out of the bottom of the league after having not played a game since July 10 due to Covid-19 protocols, while Washington will hope to use North Carolina’s rustiness to its advantage. Orlando will look to improve defensively and cut down on scoring chances in Kansas City. 

United States’ Kristie Mewis (22) celebrates with Megan Rapinoe scoring her side’s opening goal against Mexico during a CONCACAF Women’s Championship soccer match in Monterrey, Mexico, Monday, July 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit, Friday, July 29, at 7:30 P.M. ET (Paramount+)

The bottom two teams in the league will face off for the last time in the regular season on Friday in North Carolina. North Carolina will be looking to brush off the dust, having not played a game since July 10 against Chicago. Covid-19 protocols forced the Courage to postpone its game against Angel City, originally scheduled for July 15. 

North Carolina’s lack of play in the past couple of weeks might give Washington an advantage to come away with the win. The Spirit currently sits one notch above the Courage and could use Friday’s matchup to further distance itself from the bottom of the league. Washington has also played 13 games this season while North Carolina has only played nine. Perhaps the rest will help North Carolina get out of the bottom of the league, or maybe the extra experience will help Washington extend its lead over North Carolina. 

The last matchup between the Courage and the Spirit saw the Courage take home a 3–2 win in June. Both teams will be pushing for a win to start the climb out of the bottom of the league.

NJ/NY Gotham vs. Houston Dash, Sunday, July 31 at 5 P.M. ET (Paramount+)

Gotham will host the Dash in its first game with international players back in action. Kristie Mewis, Midge Purce, Estelle Johnson, and Ifeoma Onumonu will be back in action to help ninth-ranked Gotham attempt to make a push for a playoff spot against the fourth-ranked Dash. 

Coming off of a 5–0 loss in Portland, Gotham will likely lean on the returned players to improve its record through the end of the season. Attacker Midge Purce has held onto her team lead in goals with two and will look to add to that lead in her first game back. 

Gotham also welcomes midfielder Kristie Mewis back from Team USA. Mewis has started all seven games she has played this season and leads the Gotham midfielders in shots. Mewis will hope to jump back into action and create solid chances for Gotham to convert on. 

Kansas City Current vs. Orlando Pride, Sunday, July 31 at 7 P.M. ET (Paramount+)

Orlando will travel west to Kansas City on Sunday for the only time this regular season. The last matchup between these two teams ended in a 2–2 draw in Orlando. 

Orlando currently sits at eighth in the league and will have to make a push in the last half of the season to secure a playoff spot. The Pride has its work cut out for it this weekend against the fifth-ranked Current. 

Orlando has struggled with goalkeeping this season and has allowed the most goals of any team with 26. The Pride will need to cut down on chances for the Current in order to come out with a win. 
This week’s games start Friday, check out the full schedule here.

Share and Enjoy !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.